banana bread, for the win


Important update (2/25/17): In using this blog post as a reference when baking this bread today, I discovered that I originally omitted my favorite ingredient: cinnamon.*  Please, do not make this bread without cinnamon! :) 

Out of all the staples in our weekly grocery haul, bananas might be the most versatile.  They’re great on their own when perfectly ripe (I like them best without any green, just some brown freckles), they bring fresh sweetness to a number of breakfast concoctions (think oatmeal, chia pudding, acai bowls), and make a fantastic dessert.  Typically, I end up putting a few ripe ones in the freezer for smoothies and “nice cream” and then every couple of weeks we accidentally let them go past their prime … into the glory of bake-ready bananas.  You know what I mean–too dark to eat raw and not worth freezing.  In other words, perfect for banana bread.

Admittedly, the recipe I’m about to share is the one and only banana bread recipe I’ve ever made in my adult life.  Back when I was on a super-tight budget, I frequented frugal blog guides and obsessed over how they made it work on a minimum grocery budget with kids and mortgages and all the things.  Along the way, I tried a few of the shared recipes including this one, which I’ve been making ever since because it is perfect as-is and crowd-pleasing every time.

You can mix in chocolate chips or nuts if you wish, but it’s fine without them.  I often bake these in a muffin pan.  Either way, it keeps really well in the freezer.

Banana Bread
Adapted from Money Saving Mom’s recipe.  Try it!
(makes one loaf)

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4+ tsp cinnamon*
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs almond milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a loaf pan or muffin tin.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and in a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
  • Add the wet mixture into the dry and stir just until combined.
  • Do not overmix (that’s what causes dense bread/muffins).
  • Pour mixture into pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.
  • Cool completely and enjoy!

BONUS TIP: We love warming a slice in the toaster oven and then adding a generous helping of almond butter.

I’ve made this for brunch gatherings, sent some to my husband’s work and taken it to potlucks.  Most recently, I gave mini loaves in Christmas treat bags to our local friends.  Everyone loves it, I promise.

banana-bread2TALK BACK:  If you try this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!

xo, mh

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